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Bentley will take on Pikes Peak Hill Climb

posted in Editorial

Bentley will take on Pikes Peak Hill Climb

I’ve been working with Bentley Motors for a number of years now and its always interesting to work with different departments within the iconic British motoring brand. This particular call was to work with Bentley Motorsports and another racing challenge they have set their sights on in 2018.

The famous American Pikes Peak hill climb which started in 1916 has been seen as challenge for both 2 and 4 wheels.

Bentley Motorsport has set its sight on competing for the fastest production SUV… They have teamed up with Rhys Millen who has two overall wins on his CV to hopefully produce a winning combination.

The aim of the shoot was to get some ‘official’ images of Rhys and the Bentayga. There were 4 journalists coming for an informal interview with Rhys and Bentley Motorsport which I was to capture. Along with the interview a walk around the car to capture more images fitting for the journalists and media as a whole could use to promote Bentleys intentions.

While waiting for the journalists I had some time to get some images in the bag with Rhys… As I came to this job straight from another job the day before on the train I had to travel fairly light. A couple of Phottix Indra heads and power packs can be packed in a neat carry case which just fits nicely on my ThinkTank rolled case. I’ve always got a couple of speedlights with me so two studio heads and a couple of speedlights were my light source.

No other light shapers other than the standard spill kills due to travelling light. The image above was shot with the two Indras, one left and one right of Rhys. As the Bentayga was a light colour this helped with not having to light it separately for this shot. Also the car was wrapped with a matt finish which just helps in a massive way in eliminating hotspots from the bare lights. In turn this helped as I could concentrate on just lighting Rhys and letting the Bentayga just to sort itself out.

We were in the Motorsports workshop which we could turn the lights off to help with unwanted strip light highlights on the Bentagya.

Onto the interview… Making these images as universal as possible I told the journalists that I’ll shoot so only Rhys and Brian Gush (Director of Bentley Motorsport) would be identifiable. If they wanted a specific image of themselves in the shot or identifiable even from shooting over their shoulder then I could accommodate that for them specifically.

Nothing posed here but keep moving and shooting over the shoulder of the person asking the question and then capturing various expressing, hand gestures and interactions between them. Think I gave about 15-20 images to Bentley for them to chose / offer to the media.

Once the interview was completed as such then we all moved into the workshop to get a better idea of the car and walk around. I did let Brian and Rhys walk around naturally and got them to talk through this but I did put them in a certain area so I could shoot through the interior, under the bonnet etc…. again giving a few different angles.

Once the journalists were finished and left we finished off the images we started before they arrived. Back to the original set up but just moved round to get a vertical.

Like the one above this one is just further down on the angle to get the Mobil flag in (A sponsor of Bentley Motorsport). The red arrows mark up the direction and angle of the Indras lighting Rhys and the Bentayga. The flag is light by two speedlights zoomed to their max to stop as much spill as possible. This I’ve added some small panels to the flash heads to stop the light spilling onto the workshop garage doors as I just wanted the flag to be light.

With all the verticals above Rhys is position between the light cluster and the Bentley emblem so a clear view of them both can be seen. This is the full frame but with the badge visible a tighter crop can be opted for to crop the regplate.

Another quick set up with the three above with Rhys in the drivers seat and again just using the two Indra heads.

Moving the Bentayga into the corner of the workshop infront of one of the previous LeMans winning cars (I think!)… One Indra head low lighting the front grill / nearside, the other head high and off to the rear. I used one speed light stood on the floor to light the front wheel a little.

The two image above to running with the three lights already set up…

Pleased with the outcome of this shoot and as ever always a pleasure working with Bentley. Soon as this story was released by Bentley (Bentleys media website post) I lost track quickly of where these images have been used. Looking forward to June 24th and seeing how this 600bhp standard Bentayga performs.